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Invincible Iron Man #139: Review

Oct 1980
David Michelinie, Bob Layton

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Story Name:

Facades, Ruses, and Masques

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #139 Review by (June 15, 2015)
Comments: Part three of three parts. Iron Man again uses rocket powered roller skates in a battle strategy. Iron Man’s Freon tube was last used against Titanium Man in TALES OF SUSPENSE #82

Review: Madame Masque, the ex from hell, is the centerpiece of the concluding issue of the story. The writing and art are still impressive, as well as the psychological complexity that one would not expect from a comic book. Nice twist at the end.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #139 Synopsis by T Vernon
Madame Masque warns Tony Stark not to put on his Iron Man helmet or she will kill the unconscious Bethany Cabe. Masque (a/k/a Whitney Frost) fills her former lover in on her recent movements: after Tony unwittingly killed her father, Count Nefaria, in issue #116, she had to get away for awhile. She decided to cut herself off from all emotional entanglements and returned as the head of the Maggia. But she still kept tabs on Tony so after her bungling henchmen beat up Ling McPherson instead of kidnapping Beth, she hired Spymaster to steal Tony’s briefcase and abduct Beth.
Meanwhile, Rhodey, driving a stolen forklift away from the company’s guards crashes through the wall of the office, giving Tony time to don his helmet and escape with Bethany. Madame Masque sicks her dreadnoughts on Rhodey and he flees down the hall. Shellhead drops Beth off by a helicopter and tells her to head for safety. Beth, revenge for Ling on her mind, hurries back inside. Iron Man asks Rhodey to rescue the energizer link while he takes on the two dreadnoughts; he twists one so that it shoots the other then releases his Freon bomb, freezing it. Shellhead then looks around and discovers five more dreadnoughts on the way….
Rhodey enters the office to find Spymaster re-stealing the energizer link so that he can re-sell it to another customer. The villain escapes and makes his getaway in a copter; Rhodey pursues in another. After an aerial dogfight, Rhodey maneuvers his enemy into crashing into a bridge and sinking into the Hudson (Spymaster survives but Rhodey doesn’t see that).
Iron Man, battling the dreadnoughts, broadcasts a frequency that jams their signals, knocking them out of the game. Meeting up with Rhodey, Iron Man learns that Beth did not leave; inside, Madame Masque gets the drop on Beth. Masque tries to hurt Beth by revealing that Iron Man is Tony Stark—but Beth already knows. Beth in turn accuses Masque of hurting Tony so badly that he became an alcoholic; Masques denies this, as she denies ever hurting Tony. The argument turns into a gunfight, and Masque loses her, er, mask. Beth can only look on her with pity with how her insecurity ruined the one good thing in her life: her relationship with Tony Stark. Beth lets her go and rejoins Shellhead and Rhodey outside.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Bob Layton
Bob Layton
Ed Hannigan
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Whitney Frost.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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